Former Indiana Hoosiers basketball coach Tom Crean may be gone, but his legacy lives on in many ways. For many, it’s this awkward face; others prefer the “this may or may not be beer” gif. Illinois Fighting Illini fans, starved for good memories, like to remember the time Cody Zeller lost Tyler Griffey on the inbound and gave up the win as the #1 team; six years later, that’s still the last win over a ranked team for the Illini. But on OTE, his name has outlasted his tenure in the form of a verb: Creaning, the act of “firmly suggesting” a player “seek other opportunities.” This is not unique to Crean and happened long before him, but somehow it stuck so hard that I don’t think I’ll ever refer to the practice as anything else.
Now, I believe there’s a practice in college football that deserves a name, especially given its increasing prevalence. I’m speaking of the practice of accepting a coaching job, then voluntarily leaving that job for a different one before coaching a single game; i.e., leaving Job A for Job B, and then leaving Job B for Job C without actually coaching at Job B. We’ll call this maneuver a Diaz, after former Temple Owls head coach Manny Diaz. He wasn’t the first and he won’t be the last, but he sure has generated enormous buzz since holding an introductory press conference discussing his future plan for Temple football and then bolting for the suddenly-vacant Miami Hurricanes gig. This was also just days after numerous recruits signed letters of intent to play for him at Temple after he recruited them in his first weeks as head coach. Fortunately, those kids aren’t preseason Heisman favorites, so the media doesn’t care what happens to them.
Here are some other instances of Diazing to show that its namesake isn’t its sole purveyor.
Kliff Kingsbury Diazes To The Top
In the span of less than two months, our favorite Ryan Gosling stunt double was fired by his alma mater the Texas Tech Red Raiders, hired as the USC Trojans’ offensive coordinator, and then hired as the next head coach of the Arizona Cardinals. Can you imagine if you were fired from your job, and then while you were negotiating the terms for a C suite job at Facebook, you were named president and CEO of Disney?
PJ Fleck Can’t Leave Schiano, Dips Out Like Diaz From NIU
The postmodern deconstruction of a preacher that is PJ Fleck once left the nurturing bosom of Greg Schiano’s Rutgers Scarlet Knights coaching staff to strike it out on his own as the OC of the Northern Illinois Huskies. His first action on his first day of the job: resign to coach WR’s in Tampa Bay with his old bossman. This is in here as an example, because assistant coaches Diaz all the time. Just look at Josh Gattis.
Bill Belichick’s Diaz Divorce From The Jets
Possibly the best known Diaz Divorce, which may be better than just using Diaz as a verb, was the much-anticipated press conference where the successor hand-picked by the legendary Bill Parcells to be the next New York Jets head coach was to be introduced to the public. Belichick took to the podium to give his first presser as the head man for the Jets and announced his resignation as the head man for the Jets. The Patriots traded a first round pick for the ability to hire him, and now the AFC East is just the worst.
Chris Beard Diazes All Over UNLV
Diazing is not just for football coaches. Chris Beard came up under Bob and Pat Knight before striking it out on his own, first as a semipro coach in South Carolina for one year, then at D3 McMurry University for the same length of time. D2 Angelo State managed to get two whole years out of him. Arkansas Little Rock wasn’t quite so lucky, but in his one year there he gave them a hilarious upset of the very tall Purdue Boilermakers in the NCAA tournament. On the strength of his meteoric rise, he was named the head coach of the UNLV Rebels. At last, the Mustache had a Beard to go with it. However, it was shaven clean just three weeks later when Tubby Smith went to the Memphis Wildcats, opening up the Texas Tech job that Beard immediately accepted. Thus far, Beard’s tenure at Tech is yet another example of a coach enjoying great success after Diazing. Next time Illinois needs to hire a coach, I’d recommend they look at coaches that just got hired somewhere else.
Georgia Bulldogs Get Soft-Diazed by Glen Mason. Seriously.
Once upon a time, Glen Mason had a winning record with the Kent State Golden Flashes, which he parlayed into the Kansas Jayhawks head gig. After he led them to a ten-win season, Georgia announced on December 18th that he would replace Ray Goff as head coach. On CHRISTMAS DAY, Mason informed Georgia that he would not, in fact, be going to Georgia and would stay at Kansas. He stayed for one more 4-7 season before leaving anyway, this time to establish a complicated legacy of debating whether the Minnesota Golden Gophers were right to fire him.
In Manny’s case, he didn’t really “return” to his job at Miami, he left the DC position, took an HC position, and then took another HC position. Cases where a coach was introduced as head coach and then returned to his previous job instead therefore do not become Diazes until they leave for another job (they were ready for a relationship, just not with you).
Mason’s, therefore, is a Soft Diaz. Dana Altman pulled a Soft Diaz on Arkansas basketball back in 2007 when the former Creighton coach called the hogs as he was introduced as the Arkansas Razorbacks’ coach. Shortly thereafter, he returned to Creighton and kept sending out resumes until Oregon came calling three years later.
A True Diaz/Hard Diaz, however, is a rare thing for a head coach to do. This is where you leave a position voluntarily without coaching a game to accept another position that you didn’t previously hold. For now, Manny Diaz is the Diaz King. Let’s all give him the credit he deserves.
What are your favorite Diaz occurrences? How should this terminology work?
Is Manny Diaz a douche for doing this?
This poll is closed
Yes, but I can’t entirely blame him
Yes, but this is only possible because the system is broken